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Changing banks when moving abroad

If you're starting a new life in a new country, you'll no doubt want to open up a bank account at your destination. Find out how to change your bank when moving internationally.

Changing banks when moving abroad

When you move to another country, to save currency rate charges and make it easier for you to withdraw money you will benefit from using a local bank, so it makes sense to open an account in your new destination.

Bank transfer

Fortunately, changing banks when moving abroad can be a lot easier than you might think. Many banks have branches worldwide or partners in other countries, so you may not even have to open a new account.

If your UK bank doesn't do business in the country you intend to move to, try asking them for a recommendation. Your bank should be able to give you a list of banks and financial institutions in your new country that may suit you.

It is advisable to keep your UK current account as you may require references and you'll need a bank should you return, so keep them informed that you will be emigrating and how long you intend to be away. 


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Human resources

If you are moving for work, your new company should be able to help provide you with information on local banks. Speak to a member of the human resources department, or a financial adviser who specialises in expatriate banking.

International bank accounts

It is worth researching international bank accounts, as these generally let you bank in different currencies. This can be useful if you have on-going financial commitments in the UK and intend to return.

International current accounts also help if you continue to have an income in Britain, such as a pension. This means you can run two current accounts side by side using different currency and transfer money between the two with no added fee.

Setting up an international account before departure also means that you will be able to access your money as soon as you land at your destination.

page last updated June 2015


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